We’ve all been there: finding the perfect pair of jeans, finding the perfect present for your spouse, and even finding the perfect place to live. It’s stressful and with all the other hustle and bustle of your daily life.
Finding a personal trainer is just as hard. But why?
Once you’ve decided to become fit and live a healthy lifestyle, why is it hard to find the perfect trainer that will help you achieve your goals? It’s because not all trainers are the same. Having a personal training certification does not mean they are a right fit for you. Not all trainers work well for everyone, so the key is to find a trainer that specializes in what your fitness goals may be. The ultimate goal is to find a trainer that will help you on your journey to being a healthier, fit you! After all, it is all about you!
If you’re not sure where to start, follow these tips and you’ll be on the right track.
Starting Your Search
The most common and typically most convenient place to start your search for a personal trainer is at your local gym or fitness center. Gyms have an army of personal trainers that are readily available to their members… for a higher membership fee. However, going into summer, a lot of gyms offer promotional deals meant to save you money up front.
If the idea of going to the gym doesn’t appeal to you, look into hiring a private personal trainer. These trainers will come to your house and work with you one-on-one to accomplish your specific goals. Private trainers do tend to be the more expensive, yet most convenient, approach to reaching your fitness goals.
Word-of-mouth is another way to find a personal trainer that may suit your needs. Recommendations from local fitness stores or friends will come with guaranteed feedback. Just keep in mind that not every trainer is a good fit for everyone – what works for your friend might not work well for you!
When all else fails, turn to the internet and search for personal trainers in your area. This way you can read about the trainers and see what kind of experience they have, and perhaps even a few testimonials from clients that have had success! A simple Google search might give you results that you didn’t know existed in your area or may introduce you to a number of ways you can find a trainer for you!
If you are looking at your local gym for a trainer, watch the way they work with other clients to get a feel for their training style. Seeing how they interact with other clients will give you a good sense as to whether or not they will be mindful of your goals and work well with you to succeed!
Once you think you have found the perfect trainer, take precaution and only sign up for a few sessions to make sure that you truly like the way the trainer works with you.
During those trial sessions, be sure to ask the trainer about their certification. Your trainer should have a reputable certification, as well as preferably a degree in exercise science or kinesiology.
Fit Tip: Check out the Personal Trainer Development Center’s list of top reputable certifications to know if your trainer is a good fit and well educated.
Have an Interview
Trainers are working for you! So to make the most of your investment, don’t be afraid to ask them a few questions about themselves so you can get a better feel for their training style. Ask them questions about their training philosophy, how they will be able to help you reach your goals, and what services they provide in training sessions. Here are a few questions to get you started:
- What kind of experience and credentials do you have?
- What kind of motivation will you provide to help me succeed?
- Knowing my fitness goals, what kind of fitness plan will you develop for me?
- Do you have current clients I could contact for references?
Like any job interview, asking for references is a good way to make sure the trainer has adequate experience. It’s also a good way to learn about their training style from someone who has directly worked with him or her.
There are a lot of different kinds of trainers, so don’t be afraid to interview more than one. Everyone has their specialties and it would serve you best to find a trainer that specializes in a style that will help you best achieve your goals.
Along with questions about themselves, don’t forget to ask questions about their training packages, sessions, and preferred methods of payment.
- What kind of training packages do you offer? As a general rule, the fewer sessions you buy, the more expensive each will cost. Also ask if they offer individual sessions.
- What kind of payment plans do you accept? Some trainers request to be paid in full up front, and others prefer to get paid at each session.
- What hours are you available for training? Make sure their hours align with the hours you want to train. If their hours don’t work for you, be sure to make note of that.
- What is your cancellation policy? Trainers may request that you give them 24-48 hours notice to cancel a session without having to pay for it. You’ll want to know if your trainer has different preferences!
Make the Most of Your Investment
Personal trainers are an expensive investment, so you’ll want to make sure you are getting the most out of your time with them. Here are some ways to make your time with a trainer really count:
- Make long and short term goals: Having long term goals will help you keep your eye on the prize, but short term goals will help your motivation. Reaching each milestone along the way will feel like a win!
- Be honest with your trainer: Make sure you tell your trainer about any physical injuries you’ve had that may affect your progress. While you’re working out, vocalize with the trainer so they know how each exercise makes you feel.
- Food for thought: Training doesn’t just happen with weights and a trainer… it all starts in the kitchen! Have your trainer help you create a nutrition plan that will support your goals and help you live a healthier lifestyle, while still getting the proper nutrients your body needs to thrive.
Ultimately, finding a personal trainer is all about finding what works for YOU! A big-dollar investment like a personal trainer should be taken seriously and you’ll want to work with someone that cares about your fitness goals and is committed to helping you succeed.